Joyeux Noël

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.

In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other.

Only in the winter, in the country, can you have long, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.

~Ruth Stout~


Our first winter here and so, of course, our first Christmas in the grand old house we call our new home.  A winter of abundant and glorious hoarfrost and many power outages.  Even Christmas morning was postponed till the power returned, after having been off most of the night, and so we started opening the presents much later in the day then children traditionally can handle.

We took full advantage of time off school to do as many of our favorite winter activities as possible.  Skating has always been a family event for us.  We were unsure about how many chances we would get to do this here for we had been unable to spot a community outdoor rink like we have been used to in the city.  To our great happiness we discovered the community in door rink is very welcoming to those who want to just skate and posts regular public skate times.  The kids have been known to run home from school then run off to the rink till supper, when they return they are usually very sweaty and happy.IMG_20141221_152015_1Not much for sliding hills, or none we have discovered so far.  We did, however, find a big enough pile of snow in a parking lot that the kids got their fill of going up and down a hill for a few days.   The outdoor sport my man and I have been most focused on has been cross country skiing.  We are very much working on developing our skills and so far we are sore but having lots of fun.  Surprisingly we have had unusually warm weather this winter so there isn’t a great amount of snow but at least it means we can get out and enjoy the fresh air with more ease.

Power outages have been very common place this winter and have kept us often snuggled up in the house wishing for a hot cup of tea, yet what adventure it adds to this time of year.  We have had many a candle lit evening with our meals and activities.  One is very very thankful when the power returns after you sit long enough in the dark listening to the prairie wind howl about the house. IMG_20141130_163354_1

Community events have been a great highlight for the kids this winter.  I try to make it out to every event I hear of.  We are so excited to get to know people here and get accustomed to all our town has to offer.  The Santa day at the rink included fire truck rides, skating, food, crafts, movies and of course a chat with Santa.  The kids got a real kick out of it all.   Later in the month there was a cookie making event at the Golden Age Centre that had the kids thrilled.  They got to go without Mom and return with bags of cookies they had made!  The best part likely being the eating of said cookies and the memories made.

IMG_20141225_230656_1The holidays were delightful in spite of unpredictable power outages, and a very special FIRST for our home.  The fire place brought great delight as for the first time ever the kids hung their stockings in that traditional place.  We had a big task learning how to decorate these new rooms with our old decorations but enjoyed the challenge.  Retiring the tiny tree we have had for many years meant getting a tall one that looked so much smaller in our living room because of the vaulted ceilings.   We kept a lot of the traditions we had enjoyed in our last home and so the jigsaw puzzles appeared and the gifts were wrapped in packaging paper so the kids could spend a whole evening decorating and coloring all over them.  Thanks to the kids making an advent wreath at Sunday school we had an excuse to gather together and regularly sing carols, a new tradition that the kids looked forward to each week.  I would take out the guitar and the kids each found a shaker, spoons or a drum and we would just bust a gut singing our hearts out to family favorites like ‘Little Donkey’, ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ and ‘The First Noel’.IMG_20141207_152506_1IMG_20141214_092830_1

IMG_20141216_200115_1Living in an old cozy home has made winter so much easier.  We are happy to be together in our snug house, wrapped in the afghans I keep across almost every seating choice, sipping homemade chili hot chocolate and talking, singing, yelling, crying, whatever may come with family life… just being here together.  Cozy and home is what our house on the prairies has indeed become.  Thanks to the cold of winter we can, with keen awareness, appreciate it all the more.



Always Lady Mac an Rothaich





One Comment on "Joyeux Noël"

  1. Robin Munro says:

    Well written Rebecca. Gives me again the joy of snuggling up in a warm house in Dec with those we love. The boys are so cute with the sled over their heads. I like all the pictures. Love you. Mom.

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